Mygland Joins Pierce County Extension Office
In case you haven’t heard, I wanted to take a moment to let you know that you will be greeted by a new voice and face when calling or visiting the Pierce County Extension office!
After a long stretch without, I am pleased to announce that the Pierce County Administrative Assistant position is no longer vacant! Haley Mygland accepted the Administrative Assistant position for the Pierce County Extension Office. Haley began her duties here on Tuesday, March 15th, 2016 and hit the ground running helping out with our last local pesticide training of the season. Haley comes to us with a wide range of customer service experience. Haley is also a Pierce County 4-H alum, has a farm/ranch background and is very computer and tech savvy.
Haley is a welcome and much needed addition to the Pierce County Extension office as she will play a key role in helping to maintain the Private Pesticide Applicator and 4-H Online databases in addition to various mailing lists. She will also assist in coordinating meeting venues and arrangements as well as other routine office responsibilities.
Haley’s NDSU email is: email@example.com. Haley will be in the office Monday Thursday from 8:30am to 5:00pm.
Please help me welcome Haley when you get the chance!
Spring Lawn Care
With all the other spring chores needing to be done, lawn care sometimes takes a back seat in priority. In some ways this is good because initiating lawn care too early can be the source of problems later in the season. This is especially true if the lawn needs compaction relief or dethatching. The two operations to correct these problems aeration and power raking are best done in the fall. However, if these problems are serious enough to prevent turf grass cultural practices from being effective, then carrying out either or both operations in the spring, once the grass has begun active growth, usually early May, is acceptable.
Thatch only becomes a problem when it accumulates in excess beyond inch in thickness. Thick thatch may be soft and springy to walk on, but it predisposes the lawn to poor water, fertilizer and pesticide utilization, makes it vulnerable to drought, and the roots do not penetrate deeply (if at all!) into the soil below. Other problems, such as diseases and scalping when mowing, eventually will prompt the homeowner to do something about it.
Dethatching should be done when the soil is moist. You usually can rent a machine for this purpose. Stay away from lawn mower attachments that advertise dethatching capabilities as they are often destructive to the lawn and mower. Usually fertilizer, and sometimes crabgrass control or reseeding, is carried out after the dethatching is completed.
Thatch or not, most lawns would benefit from an annual aeration. This is especially true where the turf areas are growing in clay soils. The pulled cores can remain to gradually disintegrate or be raked out or broken up with a power rake. Because the root zone then has an abundance of air, the grass plants will be able to more effectively take up water and nutrients.
Dead spots – Dead spots or thin areas in your lawn can be repaired by replanting specific areas or inter seeding the whole lawn. Bluegrass seed is typically used when correcting these problems. If these areas are shady, creeping red fescue will yield better results.
When replanting the dead spots or inter seeding your lawn, just work the soil slightly with a garden rake. Spread the grass seed over the area and rake into the soil gently. Be careful not to damage the existing grass if you’re inter seeding. If thick thatch creates a seeding problem, use a garden rake to remove some of it. Thatch will serve as a barrier against moisture evaporation and as a mulch for protecting the new grass seedlings. The replanted areas must be kept moist until the grass seed has germinated and become established.
Fertilizer – Try to wait until the soil warms up and the grass is actively growing before applying spring fertilizer. The general recommendation is to do spring lawn fertilizer applications in mid-late May around Memorial Day. Another fall application can be made about Labor Day. When you fertilize your lawn don’t apply more than one pound of actual nitrogen per 1000 square feet at one time. This would be five pounds of 20-10-5 fertilizer or three pounds of 34-0-0 fertilizer. The three numbers indicate the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Lawn fertilizer should normally have at least 20 percent nitrogen. Don’t fertilize your lawn in mid-summer. Use a fertilizer spreader to apply fertilizer. You’ll be much happier with the results. Don’t apply fertilizer to damp grass. Apply to dry grass and then water it in thoroughly. This washes the fertilizer off the leaf blades without burning them. Areas which you have replanted or inter seeded should not be fertilized until early fall. Fertilizer tends to damage germinating grass seeds and young grass seedlings.
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